‘You’ll never amount to anything! You are so stupid! Why do you always make mistakes?’
We know that talking to children in this way has a negative effect on them. But what about ourselves? If people talk to us in that way will we be affected too? However, what about the way we talk to ourselves? Do we say similar things?
I am an avid journaler. I have my pile of Moleskines, my Midori and various other notebooks where I plan, review and reflect on my day. I also use software, Day One being my current favourite, and have, in the past, used sites like 750words. Journaling, in all its varied forms, enables me to see myself slightly removed from just sitting down and thinking. The act of writing about myself is an emotive act and, as I try to be honest, both subjective and objective.
The words captured in my journal enable me to ask some very interesting questions:
- How do I speak about myself?
- Am I positive or negative?
- What is my current voice?
- Do I speak to myself like a disappointed, angry parent?
Anyone can struggle with confidence in who they are and their abilities, it is something many creative types, including myself, deal with on a daily basis. Journaling can help with this. If I see I am talking to myself like the child being told they will amount to nothing, then I can reassess what I write.
I can write to show that I am confident. The way I write will reinforce the way I act during the day. The way a negative voice will pull me down a positive voice will lift me up, inspire me to be the best person I can be.
As I journal and write does my voice show that I have a right to create my art and put it out there?
Be constructive in what you say
We can be super critical of who we are and what we do, but journaling is a way to help us deal with that. We can see how we speak negatively about ourselves and change our voice.
As we note these things we can actively seek to change the way we speak about ourselves, to reinforce our abilities and to learn from our failures constructively. We aren’t perfect but we don’t need to be negative in the way we speak. Be real, but be positive and constructive.
Something to think about
What voice do you use when you talk about yourself?